York University version 3

York University Schulich School of Business | Toronto, Ontario

See The Collaboration

Jesse Dormody, Senior Associate
Baird Sampson Neuert architects


Angelo Cairo, President
Stouffville Glass Inc.

OBE Expert

Peter Isaak, Sales Manager
Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope®

Project Details

Baird Sampson Neuert (BSN) architects needed to design for a major expansion to York University’s Schulich School of Business while advancing dual goals: provide an ideal learning and research environment focused on graduate business education and serve as an exemplar to the school's deep commitment to sustainability.

With a budget of $40 million and covering an area just under 66,400 square feet, BSN's design for the McEwen Graduate Study & Research Building embraced the client’s goals of promoting innovative ways of thinking and seamless connectivity to its campuses and collaborators. Its central atrium, wrapped by a sculptural concrete stair and “bridge lounge”, creates an interactive terrain of places for spontaneous social exchange or quiet study. The atrium also connects to the building’s 28m tall solar chimney and functions as a central air exchange plenum.

The building's orientation, geometry and facade design maximize thermal energy performance and day-lighting effectiveness. Integral to the building’s innovative sustainable design were the glazing systems which provide higher thermal performance, almost seamlessly integrated with the building’s automated motorized window control system and adapted to greenhouse type rack and pinion motorized controls for large scale operable solar chimney vents.

Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope® (OBE) provided many products contributing to the project and its LEED gold target, including 6500 Series stick curtain wall utilized around the building, 2020 Series SSG vents which were incorporated into the chimney and the Reliance® Cassette curtain wall on the angular facade.

In addition to driving effectiveness of the building’s innovative hybrid passive/active ventilation system, the solar chimney reinforces a landmark presence of the school on the main entry road to the campus. With interior social activities of the atrium visible through the exterior glazed wall and the chimney illuminated as a beacon at night, these two strategic elements highlight the building’s duality of purpose: breaking down physical and social barriers to creative thinking and putting into action the school’s commitment to sustainable design.

OBE worked with our team from beginning to end and was instrumental in ensuring the glazing system was able to meet the unique design requirements and high-performance environmental benchmarks of the facility. From iterative thermal modeling to development of customized details and integration of the automated window controls, OBE was a valuable partner in the architectural process.

Jesse Dormody Senior Associate
Baird Sampson Neuert architects

Project Details

The unique form of the McEwen building impeccably integrates architecture and engineering to create a special, climate-responsive, hybrid design. Passersby can see the activities inside the social center of the building through the transparent exterior walls at the central atrium and there is a visual connection from the interior spaces to the campus.

To achieve this, the project required several Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope® (OBE) products to be harmoniously constructed into one building envelope system. This was no small feat. Whether it was the folded opaque and transparent surfaces used to transform the building footprint from alignment with the southwest orientation of the campus arrival road or the south and west facing glazing shaded in summer by solar awnings and louvered shading devices, the building envelope uniquely created a healthy building climate.

OBE has been a great partner for our organization. The attention to detail that was provided by their staff was critical to the success of this project.

Angelo Cairo President
Stouffville Glass Inc.

Project Details

The project was an architectural feat that sought to reflect the school’s commitment to creativity and serve sustainably. Our team of engineers provided input on design and construction to ensure the Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope® 6500 Arctic Stick Series curtain wall and 2020 SSG vents in the solar chimney looked great and seamlessly integrated with the building’s automated motorized window control system and adapted to greenhouse type rack and pinion motorized controls for large scale operable solar chimney vents.

And, the exterior glazed walls consisted of Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope® 6500 Arctic Stick Series curtain wall and Reliance® Cassette curtain created the angled glazing features that serve as an architectural feature on the building.

It was a creative and fulfilling project to help the design and construction team achieve a space filled with natural light, support the effective operation of the solar chimney, and ensure transparency of the envelope at the central atrium.

By focusing on the school’s vision and bringing team members with a diverse set of skills to the table, we were able to deliver a multi-product solution that met the needs of this beautiful design.

Peter Isaak Sales Manager

Reliance Cassette
Reliance™ Cassette See Reliance™ Cassette
Zero Sightline 2020 See Zero Sightline 2020